Drivers tense after violent week on Memphis roads

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A lot of drivers in Memphis are tense after a violent week on the road. Police responded to a number of incidents, including an attack on their own officers.

A woman driving on I-240 near Poplar drove herself to the hospital Friday morning after bullets started flying on the interstate. Police say she was shot in the back after two men in an SUV pulled alongside her and opened fire.

Investigators don’t know why the gunmen acted so violently, but other drivers say it sounds like a case of road rage.

That incident is one of at least four violent acts on Memphis roads since July 1st.

Rod Spencer is a licensed professional counselor and mental health expert. He says he’s not surprised to see more violence on the road.

“It doesn’t take much to set us off,” Spencer said.

From COVID-19 to social unrest, Spencer says people are angrier than ever and quick to fly off the handle.

“I mean, we live in a highly stressful situation right now and what that does is causes people to almost have no fuse or hair trigger,” Spencer said, “They just automatically act out of anger instead of sitting and calming down and processing about what they’re going to do.”

Social unrest may have fueled an attack on two police officers Thursday night.

Investigators say Ricohe Love tried to ram both of their squad cars while the offices were on routine patrol near Perkins and Mallory. They chased Love for miles and finally caught him when he crashed into a couple of civilian drivers near Lamar and Prescott.

“Battle lines seem to have been drawn,” Spencer said, “I would guess that’s some sort of act of aggression based on the polarization we have in our culture now.”

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